Excitement is mounting ahead of the start of the 2015 FIA F1 World Championship, with the first of three pre-season tests kicking-off at the Jerez track in Spain this weekend.
Four days of testing will allow teams to gain early mileage with their new 2015 specification cars ahead of the season-opening race in Melbourne, Australia on March 15.
After dominating last year, the Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas team are hoping their new car, that will be launched at Jerez, will prove to be as dominant in 2015.
Speaking this week, 2014 world champion Lewis Hamilton said: “I have watched as the new car has taken shape and I must say it looks really good.
“The whole team have worked so hard to make the car for the start of the season. I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel and develop it into a race winner.”
Hamilton’s German team-mate Nico Rosberg added: “It didn’t take me long to get over not winning the World Championship last year and now I am very determined to do a good job this year.
“Mercedes is a very special team and with its great heritage in the sport driving one of their cars is, and always will be, something very special. I’m looking forward to the start of the season and the tests that take place before round one.”
The three pre-season tests will all take place in Spain. Four days in Jerez will kick-start the sessions, with two further tests scheduled for later in February at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, the Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team has confirmed they will miss the opening test in Jerez, with the team setting their sights on the remaining two tests in Barcelona.
The Vijay Mallya-owned squad had planned to run the 2014 car this weekend while they continue to develop their new VJM08 for a debut in Barcelona, but earlier this week the team revealed it would take no part in the running whatsoever.